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Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski enters the parliament as his party members applause, before the second reading of a bill that calls for an overhaul of the Supreme Court, in Warsaw, Poland July 19, 2017. Agencja Gazeta/Slawomir Kaminski/via REUTERS


WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's lower house voted on Wednesday to send a contested Supreme Court reform bill to a parliamentary committee, moving closer to passing a law the opposition says erodes the independence of the country's judiciary.

Lawmakers from the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party and their coalition partners passed the bill, which would give them the power to appoint Supreme Court judges, in its first reading during a long and rowdy parliamentary session Tuesday.

The committee is expected to review the bill immediately.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Marcin Goettig and Pawel Sobczak; Writing by Lidia Kelly; editing by John Stonestreet)

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